“The Editing Itch”… Is there a powder for that?


I have recently surpassed 90K words and approx 340 pages on my current novel. It was my goal to be finished by now, but some things just take longer than expected. That’s usually how it goes, isn’t it? At least for me it is 😉

I think I have… wait for it… “THE EDITING ITCH”

Now that I’m so close to being able to say “The End”, I find I’m getting impatient. It’s been a long road and I just want to finish. I’ve been feeling “the editing itch” (there might be an actual term for this but this is what I’m calling it). The NEED to start back at the beginning. The NEED to bring cohesion to the scattered parts; order to the chaos. The NEED to flesh out my characters and my scenes with more understanding and description.

I’m excited to dive back in and fix all my early mistakes, make sure all my tenses are the same, check to see if my main character’s name is consistent (I changed it part way through), and do all those fun things that will make my story seemless and solid. I haven’t edited any part of my story other than the prologue as I wanted to get the story out of my head first. I know it will be a LOT of work, but I’m excited! It’s the next step in my journey and one step closer to having a completed novel -one that I wrote from start to finish!

One thing I’ve learned, other than patience and perserverance, is the value of the organic process– being open to allowing the unknown to pop up in your story when you least expect it. If you’re a writer, than you know this. I could say that I “knew” it would happen and as a proud “panster” I left plenty of room for it, even expected it. Admittedly, I was not fully prepared for it to blindside me and take my characters in quite a alternate direction than where I was headed. I’d heard of this happening to others before, but to experience it was another story (which it happened to provide: a new character with her own complicated back-story with whom I instantly loved!). However, this organic process took me on a detour which ended taking a longer route than I had expected to get to the transition that I needed to reach for the home stretch. Conversely, it provided me with a new character I love, an interesting new twist with history, and alternative route to reach my desired ending. In fact, this new path may have provided a “portal”, if you will, that will bypass a large scene that I think may be better suited for the next novel to get to the end of this story (oh, btw I’m writing a series if I haven’t mentioned that before-hehe).

So all that to say that as much as I like having some control and structure in my real life, I love experiencing the organic nature of writing. I love being pleasantly surprised when the unexpected is revealed and I love/hate being shocked when my characters are being stubborn and refusing to go in the direction I intended for them (and this is “the crazy” that seems to be part of the life of a writer). It’s all part of the journey and I’m loving every bit of it! When I’m feeling frustrated and impatient that I’m not at “The End” yet, I take a deep breath and remember not to rush the organic process. I don’t just want a finished novel, I want the best story I can write.

How do I know if my novel’s finished? Because it is, at last, what I profoundly wanted it to be. And more. ~Roz Morris


Some GREAT posts I’ve read lately that I wanted to share:

I AM WRITER is a recurring Wednesday segment featuring writers answering the question “What does it mean to you to be a writer?” by Tymothy Longoria. It’s an inspiration and a good reminder when writing gets tough. Read it atAspire No More

Finding the balance in showing Vs telling by Jody Hedlund

Another great one on “show, don’t tell” and not revealing too many details about your characters by Dan Powell

Real Writers Aren’t “Aspiring” from MuseInks came at the same time I was having my own inner conflict about admitting “I am a writer”. Inspiring.

How to be effective on Twitter – and a game! Is great for Twitter etiquette and good fun! by Laura Pauling

That Thing You Wanted To Know It’s all about the financial breakdown in the publishing world. Very informative and detailed by Mandy Hubbard

Self-Doubt: A Writer’s Worst Nightmare by Sara Burr. Techniques to prevent it from consuming you and your writing.

Megg Jensen also wrote about a writer’s self-doubt in her post How Do I Know I’m An Awesome Writer? (plus an AWESOME video)


16 thoughts on ““The Editing Itch”… Is there a powder for that?

  1. Great post and awesome links!! Wishing you lots of energy and creative thoughts while you finish your MS! Happy Writing!

  2. “It was my goal to be finished by now, but some things just take longer than expected. That’s usually how it goes, isn’t it? At least for me it is” Yes, it is how it goes for me as well.

    I understand you. When I got to chapter 13 of my novel, the itching was so bad that I had to stop and edit everything before being able to move forward. And it was a good idea; I worked on some gaps and the story felt fresh.

  3. The “need” can only be met with one thing. We all have this in common. Writing. My Friend, a great post! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I give in to my itch: write a little, edit a little, write a little, edit a little. If I didn’t scratch throughout the day, I couldn’t live with myself.

  5. Julie Musil says:

    Big yay for you! You’re almost there! I’m sure it’s driving you crazy…the waiting…but your story must be amazing for you to be so excited about it. Congratulations!

  6. Sara says:

    Thank you for the blog shout-out! I really appreciate and I’m a new subscriber to your blog 😉

    This is a great post and one that I think all writers can relate to. I too am writing a series and know all too well about certain scenes working in different books. Congratulations to you for nearing the finishing line!

  7. LOL, I think you are never really sure that your book is ready. The more you think about it, the more ideas will start coming to you. I think a story is never really finished…you just have to decide when you will have to let it go.

    • morganwylie says:

      Maria, thanks so much for your comment! I apologize for the late reply I think it got sent to spam accidentally and I didn’t see it. 😦 I think you are right you just have to decide at some point to let it go, probably like kids as they grow up 😉 I’m not quite there yet with either scenario but it sounds about right 🙂

  8. Cara says:

    Morgan! Your post “The editing itch” is awesome! I received a bit of whiplash from bobbing my head up and down so many times. 🙂 It’s just like that, isn’t it. Like an itch you can’t seem to scratch enough or even reach deep enough. A bone itch! This is exactly the kind of post I would love to add to the forum.Great wisdom and humor that every writer can relate too. And you are so right about needing to be open to allowing yourself to create on the fly. Having a plan is always helpful, but so much of the inspiration happens mid-process. Very true!

    I love that quote at the end. I wonder many days if I will EVER know when my book is completed. That, “You just know” explanation always frightens me to death, because what if, God forbid, I don’t!?! Okay, I am being dramatic again. Lol. Part of being a writer, I suppose.

    Look forward to receiving your posts. I signed up through network blogs so they will be sent to my email!
    Cara R. Olsen
    A writer’s quirks and commiserations
    Awakening Foster Kelly: A novel about first love and risking everything in pursuit

    • morganwylie says:

      Thanks Cara!! I really appreciate your comment. I’d be happy to add it to the forum if you think it’s something that fits 🙂 Lol, writers being dramatic? I can’t imagine where you might get this idea… ok so maybe I have a little idea 😉

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